Category: 10K

It’s time to bet big … on myself

“I don’t like to gamble, but if there’s one thing I’m willing to bet on, it’s myself.”

Beyoncé

When I started running, I had no idea where I was going. I started because I wanted to lose weight and I knew it would help me in that goal. But, beyond that, I had no idea where it was taking me?

Less than a year into my weight-loss journey my trainer, Kevin, challenged me to run a 5K in the midst of a plateau. He gave it to me as a challenge to work towards. So, I put in the work and ran my first 5K. It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t fast. But, I did it.

But, then something happened. I looked at my results and said — “I can do better.” So, I set out to train for another 5K. One that I could run that would be faster and much, much prettier. And, I did.

So, I just kept running trying to improve. This lead not just in the desire to run faster, but longer. Soon, I had my eye on a 10K which naturally lead to a half marathon.

Training for my first half marathon — I thought THIS would be it. This is the crowning achievement of my running career. The thought of running any further — especially a marathon — was unfathomable. I wasn’t a REAL runner, so I couldn’t possibly do that.

Well, after I ran my first half marathon in July 2011, I ran another and another and another. I got faster and actually enjoyed running 13.1 miles — then I started entertaining the thought of doubling that mileage.

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And, before I knew it I was registered for a marathon. A FREAKING MARATHON! That race distance that only REAL runners run.

Once again, I thought this would be my crowning achievement in running. When I crossed the finish line I could cross off the accomplishment on my bucket list and go back running half marathons, 10Ks and 5Ks. But, then something happened — I signed up for more marathons. And, before I knew it, I had run a total of three marathons by the end of the year.

By this time I had a goal to reach 180 races by age 40. So, I kept training and running. Along the way, not only did I enjoy the accomplishment of racing, but I made countless friends and created many enduring friendships. Running was changing my life in nearly every faucet of my life.

But, it hasn’t always been a smooth ride. It’s been quite tough at times, actually. Whether it was dealing with my Mom’s breast cancer, the death of close family members or battling my own health issues — the common denominator has always been — running.

Running wasn’t a way to escape reality, but a time I could deal with reality. Running gave me time to process the challenges. It gave me moments of reflection, motivation and inspiration. It was leading me where I wanted to go.

Nearly three years ago I started having problems with my thyroid once again. The health issues took me through a roller coaster of emotions. It was frustration being as active as I was — and feeling fatigued and slower. Not only that but I was slowly gaining weight after a years of maintenance.

But, I didn’t let (or want) those issues to stop me. They couldn’t stop me. I had a goal at hand. Plus, I knew if I stopped I would signaling the white flag of defeat — which I could never do.

So, I just kept running.

I was much slower. And, it took a harder toll on my body, especially in regards to my stamina. But, I was now one of the last runners to finish, but I kept going.

Around this time I looked for ways to keep me motivated. I knew just running wasn’t enough. I had to do something new — something that scare and motivate me all in one.

And, since I knew I wasn’t getting faster, I started looking at longer distances — ultra races. I knew a number of ultra runners who spent their weekends in Utah’s backyard and it always appealed to me. But, running anything longer than a marathon didn’t.

That lack of appeal eventually subsided and I found myself registered and committed to running a 50K. So, despite everything going on with my health — I trained for the 50K around a schedule of marathons and long runs. It wasn’t easy, but I did what I needed to do to prepare myself for the race.

When race day came I was lucky enough to run with some great friends that helped me get through those 30-something miles on Antelope Island. The last half of the race was spent trying to meet cut-off times, dodging stubborn bison and battling the dark after my headlamp died.

But, I made it. And, I earned the title of ultra runner.

The accomplishment felt like crowning accomplishment of my running journey. After spending over 10 hours running 30 miles of dirt trails — I couldn’t think of any reason why any sane person would do anything longer.

Then I remembered — I wasn’t sane.

Within a few months I got talked into running a 50 miler. I wish I could say it took a lot of convincing, but it didn’t. It was the first time I formally met Blu Robinson and Jed Jensen from Addict II Athlete and they casually talked about the 50 miler like a novice runner would about a 5K.

And, like any long distance race I’ve run, I found myself registered and committed to running the Pony Express Trail 50 Miler. The biggest selling point was that each runner was required to be assisted throughout the race. Meaning, I had a car stalking me — stocked full of fuel, water and food throughout the whole race. This basically translated to me that I wouldn’t die.

My training for the 50 miler was no joke. It was tough. I did a number of 20 milers, including one on a treadmill in the middle of the night. Not to mention a number of marathons specifically laid out to help prepare me for my 50 miler.

Once race day came I just focused on putting one foot in front of the other. I relied on my training and just focused on the goal at hand — getting to the finish line.

There were a lot of ups and downs — physically, emotionally and even spiritually. But, after nearly 17 and a half hours — I got to the finish line. I reached my goal — I ran a 50 mile race. I did something I felt at times nearly impossible, even just days before the race.

But, I made it.


“If you think you can — you can!”

Ronald Reagan

I really fell in love with the longer distances — for a number of reasons. Not only did I love the physical challenge, but I really learned a lot about myself. I learned a lot about pain. Because that happens a lot during an ultra race.

I never cried as freely and openly as I did at mile 45 of my 50 miler. But, I learned how to process the pain I was feeling — and control it. Being able to manage and control pain is a remarkable feat and I believe a true test of one’s character. Ultra races were becoming great teachers to me.

Since that 50 miler, I have run a couple more ultra races. A couple weeks after that 50 miler I ran the Antelope Island 50K once again (cutting off nearly an hour on my time — mind you!), in February I ran 40 miles in 12 hours at the Jackpot Ultra Running Festival in Las Vegas and then there was my ill-fated Salt Flats 50K that I DNF’d last weekend. But, if I didn’t fall ill with the flu I would have tackled that beast!

My favorite ultra race so far has been the Jackpot Running Festival, I like the idea of a timed race on a looped course with the goal to see how many laps you can do within that time. Not only do you get an aid station every two miles or so, but you’re literally competing with no one else — but, yourself.

Jackpot has a number of timed races — a 6, 12, 24 and 48 hour race. They also had a 100 miler, marathon, half marathon, 10K and 5K, but most of the runners did one of the four timed courses. The winner of the 48 hour race managed over 210 miles.

Yeah, you read that right.

In fact there were nearly 30 runners who ran over 100 miles, including six runners who ran over 150 miles. Mind boggling numbers if you ask me.

I read all of these results as my legs were still recovering from my 40 mile run — and I couldn’t shake the feeling that “I could do this” from my conscience. Every time I dismissed the thought — it just came back stronger. Even when I reminded myself of the pain I experienced at mile 45 of my 50 miler — the feeling remained.

So, I did the only logical thing that came to mind — I signed up for the 48 hour race in 2018.

Yup.

I signed up to run my first 100 mile race.

Typing this makes it feel very surreal to me, even a couple months after doing so. I am running a 100 miles. The thought makes me want to pee my pants out of sheer terror and excitement all in one emotion.

I’ve kept my registration relatively private since February. I’ve told a couple of close friends and family members. Heck, this is the first that my parents are hearing of this news. It’s just been a lot to process and this is a HUGE goal and milestone for me.

I still have my doubts about my ability. And, I am sure others do too. Heck, my parents definitely do, because their fear of my running is that one day my legs will fall off.

But, I have to at least try. I have too.

I have to try.

I have to try.

I have to try.

I’ve journied so far from my first 5K — heck, from the couch itself — that I can’t stop myself now without trying. To borrow a phrase from a favorite song of mine, “If you never try you’ll never know, just what you’re worth.” (Fix You, Coldplay).

When I stepped on the scale back in 2009 to start my weight-loss journey, I started the journey accepting failure — and success. I didn’t know where my decision that day would lead me. I accepted the consequences to my decision to LIVE my life. And, it’s lead me here.

I don’t see this decision any different. I am accepting the possibility of failure with the determination of success. I don’t know what lays ahead for me in the next nine months — but I’m going to find out. I’ve got a training plan in the works that I fill will give me the chance of success come February.

The motto for the Jackpot Ultra Running Festival is “BET BIG. RUN LONGER” — it’s something that’s on their shirts and medals. And, it’s something that I took to heart during my run this past February — especially since I signed up for the 48 hour race.

I feel like I am betting big with this goal. I am betting big on myself. Because, this is a gamble. There’s no guarantee of success, but there’s also no guarantee of failure either. So, I’ve got to place my bet.

But, unlike casino gambling, I can control more variables to my advantage. I can control my effort. I can control my training. I can control my preparations — both physically and mentally. And, I can control the odds come race day. But, with a goal like this, it’s going to take much more than this — in essence, I am not just betting big on myself — I’m going all in.

So, all in it is!

As a reminder of this goal and the needed commitment and dedication I’ve been running with a poker chip on me since I registered for the race. Every run — training and race — I run with it on me. I’ve tucked it in my pocket, but I really should make a necklace out of it to keep it on me better.

But, it’s just this little $100 souvenir poker chip that reminds me of not just the 100 mile goal at hand, but the bet I’ve placed upon myself. I might be a cheesy little emblem, but in the three months that I’ve been running with it — it’s been my reminder to keep going, keep pushing and keep putting one foot in front of the other.

I don’t dare say that this will be my one and only 100 miler. I’ve learned from my past that’s just a temporary lie I tell myself on occasion. But, I don’t know? And, I’m not worried about. My focus is simply on the journey in front of me.

This is a journey of a thousand miles. I know it will get daunting at times and there will be doubts. There will always be doubts. But, I know if I just focus on that footstep in front of me, it will take closer to my goal and a place I once dreamt possible.

It’s just up to me to take that next step.


“You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.”

Stephen King

Non-running Quotes for Runners

I’m a quote guy. I love quotes. I have a couple of books of handwritten notes laying around that I love picking up once in a while for a little inspiration. When it comes to my running I am no different.

The Runcast USA Instagram account is chalk full of quotes related to running. Earlier this year I also gathered a BUNCH of running quotes into one post. Needless to say, I just love them.

I wanted to do a follow up post to my previous quote post — and I thought it’d be neat to compile a bunch of non-running quotes, that could be relatable to runners. You know — some Ghandi, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, etc., etc., etc.

Some might be a stretch, some might be right on — but, I’ve put some time scouring through my books and internets finding some good quotes and mantras relatable to us runners.

Enjoy.


“The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.” — H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

“The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible.” — Arthur C. Clarke

“First steps are always the hardest but until they are taken the notion of progress remains only a notion and not an achievement.” ― Aberjhani

“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.'” — Muhammad Ali

“Doubt whom you will, but never yourself.” — Christian Nestell Bovee

When you dare to dream, you should also dare to do.” ― Stephen Richards

“Risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.” ― Leo Buscaglia

“Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.” ― Thomas Jefferson

“I am my own experiment. I am my own work of art.” ― Madonna

“So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.” ― Christopher Reeve

“You cannot expect victory and plan for defeat.” ― Joel Osteen

“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” — Alice Walker

“If you have a dream, don’t just sit there. Gather courage to believe that you can succeed and leave no stone unturned to make it a reality.” ― Roopleen

“I was always looking outside myself for strength and confidence, but it comes from within. It is there all of the time.” — Anna Freud

“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” — Francis of Assisi

“You must do the things you think you cannot do.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

“Out of difficulties grow miracles.” — Jean de la Bruyere

“We know what we are, but know not what we may be.” — William Shakespeare

“The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.” ― Jordan Belfort

“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“A deadline is negative inspiration. Still, it’s better than no inspiration at all.” ― Rita Mae Brown

“Nothing will work unless you do”. — Maya Angelou

“Do not wait; the time will never be “just right.” Start where you stand.” — Napoleon Hill

“The greatest gift you can give yourself is to develop your full potential.” ― Carolyn E. Cobelo

“Know what you want and reach out eagerly for it.” ― Lailah Gifty Akita

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” — Henry David Thoreau

“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.” — Nido Qubein

“Instead of focusing on how much you can accomplish, focus on how much you can absolutely love what you’re doing.” ― Leo Babauta

“Failure is an event, never a person.” ― William D. Brown

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched — they must be felt with the heart.”  — Helen Keller

“Do or do not. There is no try.” — Yoda

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” — Maya Angelou

You can answer in the comments below. Thank you!

“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve” ― W. Clement Stone

“If you want to be proud of yourself, then do things in which you can take pride” ― Karen Horney

“Dreams are only dreams until you wake up and make them real.” ― Ned Vizzini

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.” — Amelia Earhart

“Your big opportunity may be right where you are now.” — Napoleon Hill

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.” — Henry David Thoreau

“All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination.” — Earl Nightingale

“Talent is a wonderful thing, but it won’t carry a quitter. ” ― Stephen King

“People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.” ― Dalai Lama XIV

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.” — Aristotle

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” — Milton Berle

“I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.” – Stephen Covey

“Doubt kills more dreams than failure will.” ― Suzy Kassem

“If you have never failed, then you have not known life.” ― Lailah Gifty Akita

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.” ― Maya Angelou

“We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.” ― C.S. Lewis

“Dream big and dare to fail.” — Norman Vaughan

“There is nothing impossible to him who will try.” — Alexander the Great

“Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” — Robert Frost

“The only journey is the journey within.” — Rainer Maria Rilke

“As the sculptor devotes himself to wood and stone, I would devote myself to my soul.” — Toyohiko Kagawa

“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” — Vince Lombardi

“Certain things catch your eye, but pursue only those that capture the heart.” – Indian Proverb

“Half of the failures in life come from pulling one’s horse when he is leaping.” — Thomas Hood

“The inner fire is the most important thing mankind possesses.” ― Edith Södergran

“Life gives us choices. You either grab on with both hands and just go for it, or you sit on the sidelines.” ― Christine Feehan

“Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.” — Pamela Vaull Starr

“So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains. And we never even know we have the key.” — The Eagles

“Dream big and dare to fail.” – Norman Vaughan

“To succeed, you need to find something to hold on to, something to motivate you, something to inspire you.” — Tony Dorsett

“You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” – Christopher Columbus

“If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.” — Thomas A. Edison

“I confess I do not know why, but looking at the stars always makes me dream.” ― Vincent van Gogh

“The only person who can pull me down is myself, and I’m not going to let myself pull me down anymore.” ― C. JoyBell C.

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” – Confucius

“The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible.” — Arthur C. Clarke

“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” ― Jack London

“When you have a dream, you’ve got to grab it and never let go.” — Carol Burnett

“Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievement.” – W. Clement Stone

“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.” — William Shakespeare

“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” — Aristotle Onassis

“Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” – George Addair

“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” — Harriet Beecher Stowe

“The only journey is the one within.” — Rainer Maria Rilke

“Success does not consist in never making blunders, but in never making the same one a second time.” — Josh Billings

“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“We only become what we are by the radical and deep-seated refusal of that which others have made of us.” — Jean-Paul Sartre

“Whining is not only graceless, but can be dangerous. It can alert a brute that a victim is in the neighborhood.” ― Maya Angelou

“He who moves not forward goes backward.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.” — Paul Valery

“Life doesn’t require that we be the best, only that we try our best.” ― H. Jackson Brown Jr.

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” — Thomas Jefferson

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” — John F. Kennedy

“Every failure brings with it the seed of an equivalent success.” — Napoleon Hill

“Our wounds are often the openings into the best and most beautiful part of us.” ― David Richo

“How you react emotionally is a choice in any situation.” ― Judith Orloff

“We can do anything we want to do if we stick to it long enough.” — Helen Keller

“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear.” – Rosa Parks

“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!” — Audrey Hepburn

“I dwell in possibility.” — Emily Dickinson

“Try and fail, but never fail to try!” ― Jared Leto

“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” ― C.S. Lewis

“In all things that you do, consider the end.” — Solon

“Pride is a funny thing; it can make what is truly worthless appear to be a treasure.” ― Alice Hoffman

“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” – Les Brown

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe

“I am always more interested in what I am about to do than what I have already done.” — Rachel Carson

“I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.” – Leonardo da Vinci

“Fortune favors the brave.” — Publius Terence

“The surest way not to fail is to determine to succeed.” — Richard Brinsley Sheridan

“Men are born to succeed, not to fail.” ― Henry David Thoreau

“Reach high, for stars lie hidden in you. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.” ― Rabindranath Tagore

“If you believe in yourself and have dedication and pride – and never quit, you’ll be a winner. The price of victory is high but so are the rewards.” — Paul Bryant

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection” ― Gautama Buddha

“The individual who says it is not possible should move out of the way of those doing it.” ― Tricia Cunningham

“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford

“Like madness is the glory of this life.” ― William Shakespeare

“Ignore those that make you fearful and sad, that degrade you back towards disease and death.” ― Rumi

“In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.” – Bill Cosby

“Everything has beauty, but not everyone can see.” – Confucius

“A goal is a dream with a deadline.” — Napoleon Hill

“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” — Jimmy Dean

“What great thing would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?” — Robert H. Schuller

“It’s not what you say out of your mouth that determines your life, it’s what you whisper to yourself that has the most power!” ― Robert T. Kiyosaki

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” — Theodore Roosevelt

“Inspiration is a guest that does not willingly visit the lazy.” ― Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

“What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.” — Plutarch

“There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” ― C.S. Lewis

“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”
― Marcus Aurelius

“The virtue lies in the struggle, not in the prize.” — Richard Monckton Milnes

“A challenge only becomes an obstacle when you bow to it.” ― Ray A. Davis

“Constant dripping hollows out a stone.” — Lucretius

“Things won are done; joy’s soul lies in the doing.” — William Shakespeare

“If you can dream it, you can achieve it.” – Zig Ziglar


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The 2015 Joshby Running Awards

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This is my eighth year doing The Joshby Awards — when I began my life was much, much, MUCH different. The biggest difference — my weight — and lack of running. It’s easy to say that my life is the life of a runner. It’s changed and impacted my life in many ways.

I’ve been giving Joshby Running Awards now for a few years and while the nomination and selection committee is me, myself and I — I’ve decided this year to turn over the selection of the winners to — my running friends.

Sure, I select the nominees, but these awards are a celebration of running, the running community and the crazy people who had the audacity to go out for a run — and never come back.

So as you read the winners, please know that these are people the COMMUNITY — not just myself — look up to and honor. We’ve got some very awesome runners in our little Utah running community and I want to celebrate that.

So here are the 2015 Joshby Running Awards — as chosen by YOU!


2015 RUNNER OF THE YEAR

This award goes to the best overall, most inspiring and/or accomplished runner of the past year.

The nominees are —

  • Wan Ho Kou
  • Angie Pace
  • Ruthie Veater
  • Johnny Ahn

WINNER: WAN HO KOU

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RUNNER-UP: Angie Pace


2015 MALE RUNNER OF THE YEAR

This award goes to the best overall, most inspiring and/or male accomplished runner of the past year.

The nominees are —

  • Ryan Delaney
  • Cory Reese
  • Reese Thorne
  • Jorge Garcia, Jr.
  • Ty Hansen

WINNER: CORY REESE

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RUNNER-UP: Jorge Garcia, Jr.


2015 FEMALE RUNNER OF THE YEAR

This award goes to the best overall, most inspiring and/or accomplished female runner of the past year.

The nominees are —

  • Sonja Davidson
  • Shaylee Hurst
  • Janet Huffman
  • Monica Rasmussen
  • Connie Lyons

WINNER: SHAYLEE HURST

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RUNNER-UP: Connie Lyons


2015 MOST INSPIRATIONAL
RUNNER OF THE YEAR

This award goes to the most inspirational runner of the past year — through their journey, overcome obstacles and/or reached accomplishments.

The nominees are —

  • Elsha Stockseth
  • Timothy Gill
  • JessicaSue Hicks
  • Meridith Ethington

WINNER: MERIDITH ETHINGTON

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RUNNER-UP: Elsha Stockseth


2015 RACE ORGANIZATION OF THE YEAR

This award goes to the best race organization that has races within the state of Utah — these variables are based off course, race experience, medals, t-shirts … the full gamut!

The nominees are —

  • Run13
  • Revel
  • G.O.A.L.
  • Runtastic Events
  • On Hill Events
  • City of St. George
  • Extra Mile Racing
  • Top of Utah

WINNER: RUNTASTIC EVENTS

logo1Organizers of — Frigid 5K, Dino Half, Run of Remembrance, Timp Half, Nebo Half, The Haunted Half and Thankful 13.

RUNNER-UP: Extra Mile Racing


2015 MARATHON OF THE YEAR

This award goes to the best race organization that has races within the state of Utah — these variables are based off course, race experience, medals, t-shirts … the full gamut!

The nominees are —

  • Revel Big Cottonwood
  • St. George
  • Ogden
  • Utah Valley
  • Layton
  • Top of Utah
  • Huntsville
  • Salt Lake City

WINNER: ST. GEORGE MARATHON

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RUNNER UP: Revel Big Cottonwood


2015 HALF MARATHON OF THE YEAR

This award goes to the best race organization that has races within the state of Utah — these variables are based off course, race experience, medals, t-shirts … the full gamut!

The nominees are —

  • Drop 13 Big Cottonwood
  • Vigor Big Cottonwood
  • Snow Canyon
  • Mt. Nebo
  • AF Canyon Race for a Cure
  • Run Elevated Little Cottonwood
  • Provo City

WINNER: DROP 13 BIG COTTONWOOD
HALF MARATHON

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RUNNER-UP: Snow Canyon


2015 TRAIL RACE OF THE YEAR

This award goes to the best race organization that has races within the state of Utah — these variables are based off course, race experience, medals, t-shirts … the full gamut!

The nominees are —

  • Antelope Island Buffalo Run
  • Goblin Valley Ultra
  • Zion 100
  • Park City Trail Series
  • The Dam 15 Miler
  • Wasatch 100

WINNER: ANTELOPE ISLAND
BUFFALO RUN

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RUNNER-UP: Goblin Valley Ultra

Yes, I am a scheduling this far out …

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Okay, first off, yes, the following is every Saturday from here until the end of November. And, secondly, yes, I am planning ALL of my runs/races this far in advance.

I don’t know if that means I have problem … or … if I am just THAT good of a planner? I’d like to think it’s somewhere in the middle. Because, seriously, who plans their November races in March?

I mean really?

I have a number of goals or mile markers I want to reach this year. Of course my long term goal is to run 180 races over 13.1 miles. By the end of the year I SHOULD be at around 114-115 races. I feel good about that.

Secondly, I want to reach my goal of a sub-two half marathon. I would really like to do that at the Nebo Half on September 12. But, I have some work to do before I reach that milestone.

Mainly, I need to train and train hard for it. But, I also need to get my body where I need it to be to achieve it. Namely, I gotta lose my winter coating. I wish it wasn’t there, but now I’m just working on getting rid of it now that my thyroid and testosterone are FINALLY (hopefully) balanced.

So my thinking is from now and until mid-June the focus is losing weight, getting stronger through weight lifting, core strengthening and running. And, then mid-June the focus is speed work towards Nebo in September.

I am going to push hard to get my sub-two at Nebo, but honestly would be happy giving my ALL and getting a new PR (2:08:25). But, I don’t plan on settling for that, because I am going to fight for that sub-two.

But, with as much running as I have planned this year and especially this fall after Nebo I decided to come up with a game plan for each race. Some races I am going to push myself at, others I am planning on pushing Elsha, Josh or Reese and then a number of them I am pacing or sweeping the course.

This really is something I could do in my own little journal and keep to myself, but I thought it might be better putting this here to kinda give you an idea of my method to this running madness.

So, here you go … if you’re planning on running any of these races let me know by commenting below. I’d love to know!

  • MARCH 28: Big Cottonwood 10 Mile Run
    • GAME PLAN: Fast pace 10 mile run down Big Cottonwood. No set pace, but I would like to average BELOW an 11-minute mile.
  • APRIL 4: Lagoon Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: Goal time is under 2:45. I am planning on running alongside my friend Chandra who is pushing Josh. The course is flat so heat could have a lot to do with the outcome.
  • APRIL 11: Bountiful to Salt Lake Temple Run
    • GAME PLAN: Planning on about an 11 mile or so group run from the Bountiful Temple to the Salt Lake Temple via Bountiful Blvd. and the Bonneville Shoreline Trail. No set pace and I am anticipating it to be rather slow once we hit the trail.
  • APRIL 18: West Mountain Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: The goal is to run this sub-2:40. I am not pacing or sweeping. I might be pushing one of my friends and if that’s the case I still want to hit that same sub-2:40 goal.
  • APRIL 25: Five Mile Run
    • GAME PLAN: I have an all-day commitment this day so I am going to have to sneak in a VERY early morning fast run around the neighborhood. No set pace, just FAST.
  • MAY 2: Provo City Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: Stick with the 2:20 pacers as long as I can. That’s the goal … simple as that. I know the course well enough that I know what to expect. But, I’ll be happy with a sub-2:30 half marathon time.
  • MAY 9: Vigor Big Cottonwood Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: I am pushing my friend Josh Twelves during this race. I am not sure what pace to push for with him, but I feel comfortable that we could keep a good 2:30 pace at this point, especially considering that it’s a FAST course.
  • MAY 16: 5 Mile Run
    • GAME PLAN: I am not sure where or when I am going to be racing? I have a campout the night before and I would like to cheer on my friends running Ogden … but … I might just need to do a nice speedy five around the block due to timing and circumstance?
  • MAY 23: Alpine Classic Half
    • GAME PLAN: I am sweeping. It shouldn’t be any longer than three hours hopefully.
  • MAY 30: Jordan River Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: I am planning on pushing my friend Josh on this course. It’s a flat course … sooooooo … I am thinking around 2:40-2:45 would an ideal goal time. We’ll see, this might be reassessed by race time. For something faster hopefully.
  • JUNE 6: Emigration Canyon Group Run
    • GAME PLAN: One of my favorite courses. The plan is to run from the top of Emigration Canyon down to Liberty Park. I would like to go for speed on this one. Hopefully around 10-11:00 minute mile?
  • JUNE 13: Yellowstone Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: I am pacing the 3:30 group on this race. It’s a mix of road and trail. Just hoping I don’t get eaten by a bear.
  • JUNE 20: Big Cottonwood Canyon Group Run
    • GAME PLAN: I will set the goal pace once I get closer, but the pace should probably be around a 10-11 minute mile. I am only planning on a 10 miler. No need for anything longer to wear me out for the following week.
  • JUNE 27: American Fork Canyon Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: I am running this one at a fast clip. This will be my test run to gauge where I am at going into my training for Nebo.
  • JULY 4: 13 Miles of Freedom Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: I am planning on pushing one of my friends during the race. I am going to hold back a little bit on speed, but still go for a sub-2:40. Then again this all depends on where I am physically. If I can comfortably go faster, I will.
  • JULY 11: 7.11 Slurpee Run & The Dam 15 Miler
    • GAME PLAN: This will be a two run day. I am planning on running the 7.11 miles down Emigration at a fast clip (if only I could run a 7:11 pace). I will set some pace goals once I get closer and set my training schedule in stone. The 15 miler I won’t push, it’ll just be fun miles.
  • JULY 18: Corner Canyon Trail Group Run
    • GAME PLAN: Ideally about a 7-10 mile trail run around Corner Canyon just to get re-introduced to the trail. No real set pace, I’ll do that work during the week. I want to enjoy this run.
  • JULY 24: Handcart Days Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: I am pushing Elsha during this race. This is a special race for me considering it was my first race four years ago! I am going for a 2:30-2:40 goal time for this one. There isn’t much shade along the course so I am hoping it’s not TOO hot.
  • AUGUST 1: Timp Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: Sweeping with Jill, I am anticipating that this race should be around 3:30-3:45 long. Depending how many people we have in the back, I might do some fartleking around to get a good workout in.
  • AUGUST 8: Park City Trail 10K
    • GAME PLAN: A nice little reprieve from long distance running. And, my first trail race since the Buffalo Run 25K. I want to push it on this race to see what I can do on the trails. Should be a fun challenge.
  • AUGUST 15: Park City Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: Totally excited about this race. Not only is it on my birthday, but it is also my 100th race over 13.1 miles! I plan on running this at a moderate pace with some family. I still would like to sub-2:30.
  • AUGUST 22: Run Elevated Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: I am going to run this at a full effort. I would like to PR at this race (basically sub-2:08:25) to gauge where my body is physically for Nebo.
  • AUGUST 29: Murdock Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: Sweeping this course. I should be in around 3 hours or so, so depending on the crowd I might do some fartleking around motivating others. I love sweeping.
  • SEPTEMBER 5: Volition Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: Run at a moderate pace. Don’t push for time or speed. But, come in around the 2:30-2:40 range. Just don’t risk injury or spending too much energy. Really I want to have fun during this race. Hopefully I can push one of my friends during the race.
  • SEPTEMBER 12: Nebo Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: BALLS TO THE WALL!!! SUB-TWO CITY!!! What else do I write here? DON’T STOP!!!
  • SEPTEMBER 19: Park City Trail Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: The transition to trail racing begins. I don’t plan for a certain time on this race, mainly just to not get swept. I am anticipating that my legs will need some loving post-Nebo.
  • SEPTEMBER 26: The Burn Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: The same game plan I had last year running this race. RUN UP as much I can, walk if I must and then at the turn around RUN DOWN as fast as my legs can take me. I blame this race for all the crazy challenges Jill and I have been doing this year. But, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
  • OCTOBER 3: Antelope Island Trail Group Run
    • GAME PLAN: Get to know the terrain better and run the trails to hopefully work out some of the pre-50K jitters.
  • OCTOBER 10: Pink Series Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: Sweeping the course. Just have fun. This is a woman’s only race that I paced last year. I loved it a lot, awesome ladies and awesome stories. I look forward to it again.
  • OCTOBER 17: Corner Canyon 25K
    • GAME PLAN: Since the Buffalo Run was done in 6 hours, I really want to finish this race in sub-six hours, other than that I just want to have fun. I ran this trail three years ago with Susette it’s a great canyon.
  • OCTOBER 24: The Haunted Half & Howloween Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: A double run day! I am planning on sweeping The Haunted Half in the morning in SLC and the running the Howloween Half in Davis County in the evening. No goal time for Howloween Half, but I’d love to push it a little past easy so I can get some good fatigue training in, which would be perfect for the trails.
  • OCTOBER 30 & 31: The Haunted Half & Howloween Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: Similar game plan like the week before. Both races are in Provo. The Howloween Half is on Friday night and then the Haunted Half is in the morning on Saturday. I am going to run at a good moderate pace for the Friday race and then sweep the Saturday race. Should be fun. Another great fatigue challenge for my upcoming 50K!
  • NOVEMBER 7: Saltair Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: I am planning on pushing one of my friends during this race. I’d like to get under 2:40 mainly to push myself because it’s an easy race to tank because it’s flat and out and back. But, with my 50K the next week I should take it slowly.
  • NOVEMBER 14: Antelope Island Buffalo Run 50K
    • GAME PLAN: Simple game plan. Run, keep going, don’t give up and don’t get gored by a buffalo. Sounds reasonable enough, right?
  • NOVEMBER 21: Five Mile Run
    • GAME PLAN: I put this down as a five mile run, but we’ll see after my 50K is done. I might just doing something active in the pool?
  • NOVEMBER 26: Thankful 13 Half Marathon
    • GAME PLAN: Sweeping the course! Have fun! Earn my turkey! Make friends and wrap up the running season with race #115!

Okay, now that I have everything from here until December planned out … who’s running with me? YOU … KNOW … YOU … WANT … TOO …. !!!!

Earning our downhill …

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Next Saturday Jill and I are running the inaugural “The Burn” race. No, it has nothing to do with chaffing. It’s a 6.5 mile race up Butterfield Canyon with a 2,500 foot climb and to count it towards my 180 races the race director is letting those that want to, to run back down the canyon to complete a half marathon. To say this will be a beast … is quite an understatement.

That is why Jill and I have been running canyons as of late. Last Friday we ran UP and BACK down Emigration Canyon and then tonight we decided to run the hills of Bountiful. We decided to run up Chelsea Drive which probably is a 2,500 foot climb … or at least feels like it. But, then ran the rolling hills of Bountiful Blvd. before running back. It was a great run and test for next Saturday.

Will we be completely ready? Not sure. Physically, it will be tough … but … these  kind of races are more mental than anything. And, I think that’s what Jill and I have been focusing on more than anything. We’ve ran up some crazy hills and ran some nuts-o routes in preparation for this race.

Personally, I am going to focus on another good crazy run this week and then this weekend’s double half marathon will be great prep as well. It will force my legs to get use to unusual fatigue and mentally I’ll need to push through the pain. If I learned anything from my last double half is that the second race is ALL mental (well, actually you’re also ALL mental for actually wanting to run something like this … let’s be honest here).

But, I am excited for the challenge and I am glad that I have a partner in crime to run it with in Jill!

EARNING OUR DOWNHILL HARDCORE STYLE!

Everything you wanted to know (and WAY too much more) about running and poop …

poopsBefore I even delve (probably not the best adjective here) into this subject I should cover a few things. First off, Mom, yes this post is about poop. I’m a runner, it happens. If it makes you uncomfortable just don’t share this article with Grandma. Even though I think she’ll think the smiley poop emoticon was cute.

Others, yes this post about poop. Mainly about a topic that most runners talk about, but even less running bloggers blog about. Poop is taboo in many social settings. But, I’ve failed to find that tabooish line yet in running. Though if it existed it probably somewhere talking about it in person compared to writing about it.

But, poop happens. And, hopefully this post can help the runners out there trying to figure out how to avoid being this guy.


Before running the Big Cottonwood Marathon I was sick. No, not cold sick or nausea sick, but like bowels sick. The day before leading up to the marathon my stomach was churning. Even on the bus and while waiting for the gun time my stomach was less than thrilled to be there.

My bowel movements were less than solid and I was dreading the thought of running 26.2 miles down a canyon because the last thing I needed to do was crap my pants. I joke about it, but it’s a legit fear for me. Heck, I didn’t stop wetting the bed until I was over 19 (but, this is another post for another day).

But, with Big Cottonwood being my 75th race I luckily knew a thing or two about how to heal those pains, concerns and out right fears. So, I took some Imodium, ate a couple of bananas and sat on a port-a-potty for about half an hour waiting for everything “to clear.”

And, well, it worked.

I didn’t have many issues with my bowels afterwards besides gas pressure and the subsequent release of such pressure (aka … passing gas, tooting, farting, barking spiders, etc.). After talking to Jill, Mark and Tim about my experience we jokingly talked about how someone should write a guide to running and poop.

So here I am writing it.

But, as tongue in cheek as it might be, it’s a serious concern for long distance runners. Last year during the Utah Valley Marathon there were no port-a-potties between the starting and finish line except at the mid-way point for the marathoners.

It was pandemonium. There were runners shamelessly relieving themselves right on the side of the road. Luckily for me when nature called I was able to find a public restroom on the Provo Trail. I was one of the lucky ones.

That was pretty extreme though caused by bad communication, but I’ve also been at races that had inadequate port-a-potties at the starting line. And, if you REALLY have to go and can’t wait for a couple miles you end up starting after the gun went off. I don’t mind that, but I’m not every runner. It can be frustrating.

But, in my experience there are many little things you can do to avoid these mishaps, blunders or situations. Some take time to become a habit, while others are more easily adopted as routine. I am going to break down the running experience from the day before to the finish line on how you can take care of your bowels and “business” in a much better way.

Two Days Before

On Wednesday and Thursdays of race weeks I focus on eating foods semi-high in fiber. The goal is to kind of flush things out and clean out the ‘ol colon. Some foods I would suggest would be a sandwich on whole-wheat bread or whole-grain anything. Pasta is a favorite of mine.

But, I also like to eat a couple of prunes as well in the evening. They really help with the cleaning out the bowels and are a great natural way of doing so. Just watch that you don’t consume TOO much fiber. That can leave things unpleasant for you and sometimes others around you. Just sayin’ …

The Day Before

The day before a race I am EXTREMELY deliberate with what and when I consume food. Here are some dos and don’ts  for the day (and especially night) before your race

DOS…

    • Drink plenty of water.
    • Eat as close onto your regular schedule as possible.
    • Carbload earlier in the day around lunch time.
    • Eat simple carbs that won’t sit in your stomach for a long time (ie-white breads, potatoes, etc.)
    • Eat good clean food with minimal processing as possible.
    • Have a list of foods that you’ve learned work for you before races.

DON’TS…

    • Avoid orange juice and other fibrous drinks at all costs.
    • Don’t carbload heavily in the evening, especially foods high in fiber.
    • Avoid greasy, fatty and cheesy foods especially during dinner.
    • Don’t chug a gallon of prune juice.
    • If you are remotely sensitive to dairy, avoid it throughout the day. Trust me. Save the ice cream craving AFTER the race.
    • Don’t confuse carbloading with pigging out.

The biggest thing really is just stay away from anything that will give yourself an upset stomach. Know your body and what it can handle. I am sure there are some foods you could add to these lists.

And beyond anything else … if you’re iffy if something would react badly in your stomach DON’T EAT/TAKE IT! This I learned the hard way as well.

Race Day Morning

One of the biggest stresses for runners is what to eat the morning of the race. Again, everyone is different. Some runners stick to one food and … well … run with it. For the longest time I just stuck with a bowl of oatmeal and a banana because I knew I wouldn’t get sick off of it.

But, after getting a number of races under my belt and experimenting with foods here and there, I’ve kept pretty much a short list of foods I can handle before a race. Some of these foods include …

    • Oatmeal and an apple or banana.
    • Toast and Honey with either an apple or banana.
    • Peanut Butter and Honey on White Bread.
    • Peanut Butter and Jelly on White Bread.
    • Baked Sweet Potato (nothing added).
    • Baked White Potato (salt to taste, but needed).

Personally, I also like to take caffeine usually right when I wake up on race mornings. This is more of a personal preference because of the early hour. But, when you’re commuting to races at 3-4am you need the extra help. Some people are sensitive to caffeine so just be careful about that. I’ve found if I have too much I don’t just get jittery, but I have to pee more.

Also, I like to drink about 20oz. of water with my breakfast. This helps with the digestion and keeping things going. It also makes you want to go to the bathroom, but before the race that’s good. So make sure to drink your water and get a good routine down.

Hour Before Guntime

About an hour before gun time it’s well advised to take some Imodium. At least I take it. It’s helped me avoid stomach problems and the diarrheas on numerous occasions. But, I’ve also had friends that had issues taking it.

So, the best thing you can do is try it out on some of your training runs. If it works … GREAT! Go with it. And, if it doesn’t … I’d still try it a second time just to make sure it wasn’t another factor. Just avoid taking it for the first time at a race. Just be cautious and listen to your body. Also carbloading effectively (meaning not eating donuts and other junkfood) before your race will help.

But, an hour before the race you should be standing in line for the Honey Bucket. This is one time you shouldn’t listen to your body, if you don’t feel like going … GO! Because the lines are usually long and by the time you get to your turn you’ll want/need to go. Trust me.

If you want to avoid an OVERALL stinky Honey Bucket there are a few things you can do. Let me list the way …

    • If your race buses you to the starting line be on one of the first or second bus. The quicker you get to the Honey Buckets the cleaner they are.
    • So, if you’re on one of the last buses don’t complain about the smell or condition your HB. It’s your own fault.
    • The same goes for non-bussed races. Get to the race well before the start. Generally there will be some HBs around ready for you to use.
    • You might want to consider using a public restroom on your way to the race. The public restrooms I would probably avoid are …
      • 7-Eleven
      • Walmart
      • Pretty much any gas station
      • McDonald’s
      • Anything that is open 24 hours.
    • Actually on second thought just use the restroom before you leave your place. I wouldn’t trust any public bathroom.

In addition to using the restroom I like to eat a small and simple carb like a Fig Newton or banana about an hour before the race. This is up to you and really depends on whether or not you’ve got pre-race jitters.

Oh, and one other thing to note. If you’re in the Honey Bucket and you’re not feeling well … don’t feel like you need to hurry because people are waiting. Just sit there and get up and leave when you feel better.

I’ve done this a couple times. Once I was in the Honey Bucket for almost a half hour before my stomach was just … ugh. But, I figured that the people behind me in line would get one of the 80+ buckets in the meantime. It pays to be a tad selfish in this regard.

Half Hour Before Guntime

If I am not still in the Honey Bucket, a half hour before guntime is when I take my Aleve and a bit more water. I also like to eat something small like a small piece of bread, banana or even a gel pack. It really depends on how I am feeling, but I always need to start my race off with SOMETHING on my stomach or I pay for it later.

Don’t drink too much liquid at this time. 6-8oz. of water or Gatorade is perfectly sufficient. If you drink too much odds are you will need to use the Honey Bucket at the first aid station.

I would also get back in line to use the bathroom. No joke. You’ll find once again that once you get to the front of the line you had to go again.

Fueling throughout the race

I have a routine for every hour or 5-6 miles I am out on the road. I do this to keep my energy up and bowels tempered. Otherwise I either tank or I end up sitting in a Honey Bucket longer than I want.

I have a half marathon fuel plan, again, you’ve got to learn what works for you. Some runners need more fuel and others don’t need that much at all. It really does change from runner to runner. This is my typical fuel plan (this is based off a typical half marathon aid station outline)…

    • Station, Mile 3 (1 cup of Gatorade and 2 cups of water)
    • Station, Mile 5 (2 cups of water)
    • Station, Mile 7 (2 cups of water and caffeinated gel pack)
    • Station, Mile 9 (2 cups of water)
    • Station, Mile 11 (1 cup of Gatorade and 2 cups of water)
    • Station, Mile 12 (1 cup of water)

The reasonings behind this plan are pretty simple …

    1. Hydration will help with your energy level and performance better than any Gu, powder or magic potion.
    2. By drinking two cups of water to one cup of Gatorade you are diluting the strength of the sports drink. Sometimes race volunteers will make the Gatorade TOO strong and it won’t sit well with the stomach. So always drink two cups of water along with it to avoid trips to the HB.
    3. Avoid drinking Gatorade during the same pit stop as you take a gel pack. If you want to crotch into the fetal position mid-race go ahead and do it. Just don’t blame me for never warning you.
    4. You don’t have to run with a caffeinated gel pack, but I find that mid-race is a great time to fuel with a bit more than just Gatorade. Whatever you fuel with go with that (and yes candy counts as fuel).

If you are running a marathon and need to fuel with that, I would use the same structure as the half marathon fuel plan, but add a few foods to the list that you eat every third station.

Again, that depends on what kind of runner you are. Personally I need to eat through a marathon. I always run with a back pack with gels, gummy candies and usually a PB&H sandwich. When you’re burning over 4,000 calories during a marathon you need to replenish during the race more than a half marathon. Just keep that in mind.

If you need to experiment with foods and gels, remember to try them out during your training runs. Never try a new food at a race. This is how you get stuck on a Honey Bucket for over a half hour at mile 10.

Trust me.

Post Run

Once you are done with your race you want to replenish your body of what you lost. Carbs and protein are your friends. A favorite among runners is chocolate milk. This is my favorite too.

Just be careful with consuming chocolate milk, because if you are anything like me (I am lactose intolerant) you will end up in desperate need of a finish line Honey Bucket (probably the worst kind of Honey Bucket). Not fun.

Even if you are mildly intolerant make sure you don’t overindulge. Because the body won’t usually respond mildly after running a half or full marathon. Sadly, yes, I have learned this.

But, during the first 30-45 minutes after your race is finished make sure that you eat easy carbs and easy to digest foods (namely fruit). This will help with the recovery and keep your stomach calm.

Avoid rich fatty foods immediately after your race because it could possibly not sit well with the bowels. Eat simple and it will save your life. Or at least a trip to the post-race Honey Bucket.

Race Day Evening

I always like to enjoy a good meal after my races. I try to stay within reason, but at the same time if I am craving something I don’t feel bad knowing that I’ve burnt 5,000-8,000 calories throughout the day.

Just know that your eyes will be larger than your stomach … but … probably not by that much. Enjoy it knowing that you earned it.

These are just a few tips I have learned about avoiding the poops during my races. I hate having to use the Honey Bucket during the race. I try to avoid it. Sometimes you just can’t avoid it. But, more often than not you can.

Do what works for you, but know that if you’re having problems with your bowels you are not alone. And, above anything else this should be your motivation …

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The cheetah within …

cowcheetah
A basic graph of how I feel about my running as of late.

Last week I blogged about my recent health and weight issues. I hate blogging about those things. But, sometimes that’s just life. Especially when you live with a whacked out thyroid and doctor.

This past week I’ve really been trying to focus on the mentality of what I need to do now, but more importantly, where I want to go as well. After a much needed run at Liberty Park last week I started seeing more clearly what my potential was in running. I stopped looking at running a sub-two half marathon as a one-and-done goal and more like a new standard.

Even running the Run Elevated Half Marathon down Little Cottonwood Canyon this past Saturday I felt that I had SO much within me. Actually, I KNEW that I had so much more within me. Despite my mental disposition of feeling like a slow running cow, I know that within me lies a cheetah. I’m made for speed. I’ve got the legs and with the proper training and dedication I know I can get MUCH faster than I am running now.

I mean … MUCH, MUCH, FASTER.

Knowing the current state of my body, I don’t run well when I am mixing marathons and half marathons together. Training for a marathon and half marathon are two different beasts. Marathons are about miles and half marathons are more about speed, at least for me. And, the two don’t mix very well because I don’t get faster on my half marathon times when I am training and running marathons. I just don’t.

So, I’ve made the decision that for at least the next year I am not going to run a marathon after Big Cottonwood in September. My focus is going to be half marathons, speed work and deliberate training. I really want to get that sub-two half marathon time, but more than that I want to condition myself to that standard. So that is my goal and focus from September on.

In addition to focusing on half marathons I am going to slow down the races a tad. All in all by the end of the year my race total for 2014 will be somewhere around 26 to 27. I’ve felt a need to knock out a lot of races this year, but I really can’t do that again. I need more of a balance in my life. That’s why in 2015 my goal is to run one half marathon a month with a few exceptions here and there. But, I am capping it at 15 races next year. I know that’s still a lot, but it’s still almost half of what I’ve ran this year.

To replace a lot of those races my long runs will be more deliberate. I plan on running more 8-10 mile long runs during the week and weekend. I’d love to run down the canyons more and even find some more routes around the Wasatch Front to run. I sense the need for some more adventure in my running and I am excited to do that.

But, I know that running alone won’t get me towards my goal. I am going to have to continue to work off the weight and condition myself well. I’m going to have to balance my running with strength training. I also need to do some more cross-training to help avoid burnout. Ideally, I’d love to swim a lot more. I am taking adult swimming lessons in October after all. But, I just need to focus on balance. I really feel that.

And, of course to not forget diet. I do need to clean out my diet. Not a lot, but I need to eat cleaner. I need to eat deliberately. I’m such a routine eater that I am sure this won’t be that big of an issue. BUT … you can’t avoid it either. I’ll need to eat more vegetables (who doesn’t?) and watch the processed foods. Food is such a big part of any diet or lifestyle change that I know I’ll have to address all of that in another post. There’s just TOO much to it.

But, it’s important nonetheless.

I am excited for this new focus. And, I’m not going to lie, I not going to really miss the marathon training. I love it, don’t get me wrong, but that’s not going to be my focus this upcoming year. It’s speed, it’s consistency and it’s getting a lot faster than I am now.

I want that cheetah within that mental cow that I believe that I am to burst through and take (well, there’s a thought). I know it’s within me. I know I can do it. It’s now just a matter of doing it and staying committed to the course.

So, my initial plan is to take the next couple of weeks to come up with a killer plan to get me there. I am going to focus on getting rid of the excess weight that I need to (my goal to get down to my normal weight is Thanksgiving … funny that’s the goal, because odds are I’ll need to lose it all again the following day … kidding) while pushing myself and working on the speed work and of course running form (gotta learn how to kick those legs up like a pro, right?). But, then starting December 1st (or Black Friday) my goal is to concentrate even more on the speed training working towards my first attempt at a sub-two at the Vigor Big Cottonwood Half on May 9th.

I am also focusing on other races in 2015 that will give me the opportunity to PR and sub-two … Timp, Utah Valley, Deseret News, Run Elevated and Nebo. Just typing that I got this crazy idea of a goal to run all of those in a sub-two? That would take a lot, but why not? Why not try? Why not commit myself to a crazy outlandish goal like that? Even if I don’t reach that goal I’ll at least be striving for something amazing, right?

I am excited about this new vision. I am excited to see where it takes me. I really know that I need to not just push myself in my running, but I’ve also got to balance it out with other things in my life. As hard as this it is for me to say this, on a running blog nonetheless, there is more to life than just running (GASP! … I might have just fainted). But, it’s true.

I was fortunate enough to run for the past three years without much responsibility outside of myself. And, I’m not going to be single forever. I know once marriage and kids come there will go a lot of my free time. Which would more than likely be running. I know I won’t be able to run 25 races year each year, so I’ve got to be deliberate, focus on balance and strive for greatness in the time that’s given me to do what I love.

Because I am destined to be that dang cheetah.